Tuesday, August 4, 2009

San Francisco Android User Group

On August 25th I will be in San Francisco to present at the local Android User Group. The topic is "Learn what it takes to make a good Android app great - at our August meetup". Over the weekend I started work on my presentation and drew up some random notes. Much of the presentation will be focused around the small 1% items that many people over look. Individually these items may not appear important but once you start to combine them they really add the finishing touches to your application.

I will also be discussing social network integration, an area I have been working exclusively on recently (shakes first at Facebook for not having and official client like iPhone).


ps, yes I really need to post more.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

10,000 and counting

This moring Amazed 2 Lite had its 10,000th download, taking a month to reach the milestone. The application now resides in the 10,000 ~ 50,000 category and averages a few hundred downloads per day. If only the paid version was doing these kinds of numbers. Currently the paid version is just under the 500 download mark. Nothing special but Android is still growing.

Monday, July 13, 2009

First Review

Android Tapp is the first website (that I know of) to review Amazed 2. To be honest I was a bit nervous and wasn't sure what to expect. To my surprise they seemed quite impressed with the game and gave it 4.1 out of 5.

Thanks to the folks over at Android Tapp for taking the time to review the application :)

Friday, June 26, 2009

Kitten Cannon

Sure has been a busy couple of weeks, yesterday we released Kitten Cannon on Android for only 99cents.

I have picked up a few new tricks lately which is to be expected when working with any new platform, especially UI look and feel. Look out for more fun time wasters on the Android platform over the coming months.

Here are a couple of in-game screenshots.




Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Amazed 2 Featured

Google have just added Amazed 2 as a featured application.

The lite version is doing quite well with just over 4,000 downloads and an average of 4 stars. I am logging all the high score data for the online leaderboard, after a couple of weeks I will be able to provide some interesting data on actual game usage.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Monday, June 15, 2009

Amazed 2 Release

Finally Amazed 2 has been released. What seemed like months of hibernation is now over and the full version is available on Android Market for $1.99.

The lite edition which has 6 levels with both classic and blackout modes is available for free. Screen shots will be posted tomorrow evening.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Android SDK 1.5

In case you were unaware, Google have released a preview SDK for the upcoming 1.5 release (incorrectly referred too as cupcake, but that is another story). Xavier Ducrohet posted about the release on the official Android blog.

After a week using the SDK it looks very promising, one of the biggest inclusions is the onscreen keyboard. The preview SDK doesn't have a sample project, I will attempt to put something together later in the week showing a simple example.

edit: No need for me to write anything about the keyboard, the Android team have posted an article on the official blog.

Monday, March 2, 2009

I want to keep the screen ON

I have seen numerous methods describing how to keep the screen on, all using the PowerManager.WakeLock API. You don't want to access WakeLock too often because it will drain the battery, so why not take the easy approach and let Android do it for you.

Simply call setKeepScreenOn(true) from your View class or any clas that inheriets from View.

Yes I am serious, it is a single line of code to keep the back light on.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Guitar Hero World Tour


Paid applications are finally available on Android. Should be an interesting few weeks as more apps become available and users get a chance to setup Google Checkout accounts and start purchasing.

I guess I can now finally talk about Guitar Hero World Tour. I will be biased and recommend everyone take a look at it. I believe this is the first real time multiplayer game available on Android. This is another first for the platform, the other being "Amazed" the first accelerometer game available.

To the right screenshot from version available on the market.






Below I have posted various mock-up's gathered from around the internet. As you can tell none of these are close to the official version.



Here is a mock-up on the HTC Magic, I must say the phone itself looks great.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Where is my sd card?

Today I was testing how to detect if the sd card was present or not. The most obvious way to do this would be to create a File and point it to /sdcard.

File mFile = new File(/sdcard/mydir);


Next you would check if the file exists(), isDirectory(), canWrite() etc... to see if you actually have permission to create and store your data. However these methods will return true even if the sd card is not present. It's not until you actually try to write some data that you will see errors.

The trick to detecting the sd card correctly is to use android.os.Environment method getExternalStorageState(). This will return the current state of external storage, i.e. mounted, unmounted plus many other states.

So to test if external storage is present we can use the following snippet (sorry I have no idea how to format code on this blog)

boolean canSaveExternal = false;

String storageState = Environment.getExternalStorageState();

if (
Environment.MEDIA_MOUNTED.equals(storageState))
canSaveExternal = true;
else
canSaveExternal = false;

I imagine in the future Android will have various external storage devices so getExternalStorageDirectory() will be useful to know where to save data.


Monday, January 12, 2009

Amazed 2 BETA released

Today I released Amazed 2 BETA to a select group of people. All of them were kind enough to contact me after playing Amazed saying how much they enjoyed the game. It is only fitting that these people get to try out Amazed 2 first.

The most positive new feature received thus far has been the option to resume your game from any level. The graphics weren't hard to improve on so that has been another bonus.

Looking forward to more positive and negative feedback. A full demo of Amazed 2 will be hitting the market soon. Meanwhile the original Amazed in all its glory is still being downloaded, roughly 125,000 people. Not bad for something that was designed as a technical demo to show off the Accelerometer feature of the G1.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Designing levels is NOT easy.

Over the past few days I have been discovering how difficult it is to design levels. Maybe I should rephrase that, designing GOOD levels is difficult. I think I have spent more time trying to come up with unique fun levels than I have on coding. It has been an experience to say the least. If anyone has some tips or good reading on the subject please let me know.

Hopefully I will have a demo version ready for next Monday. It won't be feature complete as I still have a couple of items left on my list to finish off before releasing the full version. Not to mention I need to finish designing all the levels and then order them via difficulty. While Amazed was designed as a tech demo that got popular overnight, Amazed 2 has been designed to be a real game from the beginning. I am looking forward to people's feedback once the demo is ready.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Back to work


After a month long holiday back home in Australia it is finally time to get back to work. Being on holiday was great but it meant I could not spend as much time working on Android as I would have liked. Glad to report the G1 had no issues operating in Australia.

Yes its been awhile since the last update but with the Market taking off I'm sure you had plenty of other app's to keep you busy.